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Old 02-25-2020, 04:48 PM   #1
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New jersey

Hey,
If I buy a bus in New Jersey where can I work on converting it. Like how do I know if a shop will let me use their tools or leave my bus at their place? What do I say? What questions should I ask?
Kyra
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Old 02-25-2020, 06:18 PM   #2
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No shop is going to let you use their tools or leave your bus with them. You need to locate a place where you can park your bus and work on it (there's nothing special about New Jersey in this regard). Call around to RV storage places or U-Haul rental places and see if you can find a place, or sometimes people offer RV storage on Craigslist. Some places will require that your vehicle be registered and insured, other places won't care at all.

I know of a place in Port Richmond (NE Philly) that is sort of near you and rents spots for $200 a month, but it's a crime-ridden shithole (my bus was robbed three times while I had it parked there).
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:00 PM   #3
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No shop is going to let you use their tools or leave your bus with them. You need to locate a place where you can park your bus and work on it (there's nothing special about New Jersey in this regard). Call around to RV storage places or U-Haul rental places and see if you can find a place, or sometimes people offer RV storage on Craigslist. Some places will require that your vehicle be registered and insured, other places won't care at all.



I know of a place in Port Richmond (NE Philly) that is sort of near you and rents spots for $200 a month, but it's a crime-ridden shithole (my bus was robbed three times while I had it parked there).
What he said. Also, don't buy a bus from New Jersey. It will have rust. I didn't listen to that advice.
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Old 02-25-2020, 07:11 PM   #4
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What he said. Also, don't buy a bus from New Jersey. It will have rust. I didn't listen to that advice.
What he said.
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Old 02-26-2020, 08:44 AM   #5
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What he said. Also, don't buy a bus from New Jersey. It will have rust. I didn't listen to that advice.
Not always true. My short bus was NJ all its life and had zero rust. Also got it for 800 bucks. Amazing deals are to be found in NJ
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:36 AM   #6
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Mine is from NJ as well, and has very little rust - nothing structural and nothing a wire wheel and some Ospho and primer can't fix quickly. That said, I went and inspected the 50+ buses the state was selling at the time, and narrowed it down to 2-3 that seemed mechanically sound and had no major rust issues. They're out there, but you need to search for them.
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:24 PM   #7
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Mine is from NJ as well, and has very little rust - nothing structural and nothing a wire wheel and some Ospho and primer can't fix quickly. That said, I went and inspected the 50+ buses the state was selling at the time, and narrowed it down to 2-3 that seemed mechanically sound and had no major rust issues. They're out there, but you need to search for them.
Don't get me wrong I love my bus. I still email the mechanic from the school district it came from. It was well maintained. And 90% of my rust is surface rust underneath. It's not hard work, but using a spray bottle and a chip brush and a tiny roller to get this all cleaned up while half laying on your back... I wouldn't say it's going quickly LOL.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:54 PM   #8
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Mine is from NJ as well, and has very little rust - nothing structural and nothing a wire wheel and some Ospho and primer can't fix quickly. That said, I went and inspected the 50+ buses the state was selling at the time, and narrowed it down to 2-3 that seemed mechanically sound and had no major rust issues. They're out there, but you need to search for them.
There was a state auction or sale? I am in NJ but haven't found anything local as of yet, just been looking at auction sites and CL.
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:45 PM   #9
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This was a little over a year ago - the state off-loaded 50+ Collins short buses with the 6.0L gas engine. Most were rusted like crazy, hit in the back, or had mechanical issues creeping up. The best looking one was fine until we stepped on the brake pedal - it was like there was nothing there. A real crapshoot if you couldn't be there to check them out ahead of time. They were all on govdeals or whatever that auction site is.

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Old 03-02-2020, 06:44 AM   #10
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So where did all you people who bought your buses in NJ, take out the seats, and do the construction without getting a fine?
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:50 AM   #11
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I guess I'm lucky in that I'm working in my driveway and nobody cares. In fact, on the same street, there's another couple with a Skoolie!

Sorry, I know this doesn't really help your situation, though it may be worth checking with friends who live more out in the country to see if they would be fine with you building at their place. My parents' house would be fine for me as well, for example.

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Old 03-02-2020, 08:37 AM   #12
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So where did all you people who bought your buses in NJ, take out the seats, and do the construction without getting a fine?
This is my biggest impediment to buying a bus. I've seen a few I may have already pulled the trigger on but I haven't found a place to park it while converting.

One trick, try using google maps to find businesses with large properties think lumber yard, bus company, fabrication shops, etc. Stop in and ask them if they will rent you some space in the back corner of their lot. Most will probably say no due to liability but you never know.
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Old 03-07-2020, 03:39 PM   #13
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It's pretty simple really... ask?
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:20 PM   #14
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Hey! Welcome to the Skoolie world. Im in Vineland ,building our bus at home. Im a mechanic and part time fabricator. To my knowledge there are no shops that operate like Co-Ops in our area, also, there isnt a big Skoolie crowd here either, so its a small niche if any at all. Im guessing you live in a tight area?
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:28 PM   #15
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Yeah, if you can’t park it where you stay then your build will be much harder/tedious. It’s been done many times, but it’s a hassle to have to drive to the work site and inevitably forget something at home and so on.

If you must go that route, I reckoned what others say and see if you can drive a little out of the city and find someone with a patch of land that looks unused. Perhaps offering your services as someone who could help with yard work or something occasionally as a trade off or make them an offer to rent the space for a certain amount.

We’ve got lots of space here in Florida, but that doesn’t help too much...
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:06 PM   #16
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I did my build at a friends farm in Howell
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:42 AM   #17
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Look around at self storage lots. We have our bus in a secured self storage facility. As far as tools I think you will be purchasing all kinds of stuff to do your conversion.
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